Egypt holds referendum that could keep Sisi in power until 2030
Updated 20:21, 20-Apr-2019
CGTN
00:34

Egyptians began voting on Saturday in a three-day referendum on constitutional changes that could allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in office until 2030, after the parliament overwhelmingly approved the amendments on Tuesday.

Lawmakers voted by 531 to 22 in favor of the amendments, which are now put to a public referendum. Some 61 million of Egypt's nearly 100 million population are eligible to vote.

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Egypt's Sisi to stay in power until 2030

Sisi's supporters say the changes are necessary to give him more time to complete major development projects and economic reforms. While critics say they concentrate more powers in Sisi's hands and return Egypt to an authoritarian model.

A woman casts her vote during the referendum on draft constitutional amendments, at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, April 20, 2019. /Reuters Photo

A woman casts her vote during the referendum on draft constitutional amendments, at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, April 20, 2019. /Reuters Photo

If approved, the amendments would extend Sisi's current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024. They would grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates.

They would also task the military with protecting "the constitution and democracy and the fundamental makeup of the country and its civil nature."

The result is expected in the days after Monday's final day of voting.

Sisi won a landslide victory in the 2014 presidential election and was sworn into office in June 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 for a second term.

(Cover: People stand in line to cast their vote during the referendum on draft constitutional amendments, at a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, April 20, 2019. /Reuters Photo)

Source(s): Reuters